To read more from Daniel, visit his blog: Sic Et Non

Well, our new Interpreter Foundation theatrical film, Six Days in August, just had its first European screening.  My wife and I watched it on my computer here in our hotel room.  It’s the second time that we’ve seen the whole movie; we saw it the first time, in a slightly different (and very slightly longer) version, a couple of weeks ago.  Six Days in August still needs to go through post-production work (e.g.. on sound, score, and color) to be fully ready for release in theaters, but it’s very gratifying to see it in its 95%-completed form.

Here are some lines from a sermon of Brigham Young that was given in Winter Quarters, which I’ve seen dated to both 27 February 1847 and to 6 April 1847:

I met with the brethren of the Twelve in the Historian’s office. Conversation ensued relative to emigration westward. I related the following dream:

While sick and asleep about noonday of the 17th inst., I dreamed that I went to see Joseph. He looked perfectly natural, sitting with his feet on the lower round of his chair. I took hold of his right hand and kissed him many times, and said to him: “Why is it that we cannot be together as we used to be? You have been from us a long time, and we want your society and I do not like to be separated from you.”

Joseph rising from his chair and looking at me with his usual, earnest, expressive and pleasing countenance replied, “It is all right.” I said, “I do not like to be away from you.”

Joseph said, “It is all right; we cannot be together yet; we shall be by and by; but you will have to do without me a while, and then we shall be together again.”

I then discovered there was a hand rail between us, Joseph stood by a window and to the southwest of him it was very light. I was in the twilight and to the north of me it was very dark. I said, “Brother Joseph, the brethren you know well, better than I do; you raised them up, and brought the Priesthood to us. The brethren have a great anxiety to understand the law of adoption or sealing principles; and if you have a word of counsel for me I should be glad to receive it.”

Joseph stepped toward me, and looking very earnestly, yet pleasantly said, “Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach you what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits; it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will follow the Spirit of the Lord they will go right. Be sure to tell the people to keep the Spirit of the Lord; and if they will, they will find themselves just as they were organized by our Father in Heaven before they came into the world. Our Father in Heaven organized the human family, but they are all disorganized and in great confusion.”

Joseph then showed me the pattern, how they were in the beginning. This I cannot describe, but I saw it, and saw where the Priesthood had been taken from the earth and how it must be joined together, so that there would be a perfect chain from Father Adam to his latest posterity. Joseph again said, “Tell the people to be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and follow it, and it will lead them just right.”

[Elden J. Watson, ed., Brigham Young Addresses, 1801-1877: A Chronological Compilation of Known Addresses of the Prophet Brigham Young, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Privately published, 1971).]

Some have lately sought to portray Brigham Young as having wrested control of the Church away from Joseph Smith in order to pursue his own self-serving agenda — a few have gone so far as to accuse him of mounting a coup against the Prophet in order the hijack the Restoration and even, literally unbelievably, to have ordered and engineered the assassination of Joseph and Hyrum.  To say that I find such charges unsupported and indefensible is far too mild: I find them obscene.

Brigham’s devotion to the Prophet — perhaps the only man to whom “the Lion of the Lord” would humbly submit! — is illustrated, I think, in the last words that he is said to have spoken on his deathbed in 1877:  “Joseph, Joseph, Joseph!”  I strongly suspect that Joseph Smith had come to greet his faithful disciple, and I cannot imagine a more fitting reception into the next world.

I support of my general point here, please see Gerrit Dirkmaat’s excellent lecture, given to the Interpreter Foundation’s annual birthday party a few months ago, entitled “Sweeter than Honey: Brigham Young’s Devotion to Joseph Smith’s Teachings.”